NFL Draft: Chuck Pagano

INDIANAPOLIS -- There was a familiar face, one that had been absent around the Indianapolis Colts organization for nearly two months, inside the team’s draft war room Friday night.

A picture made its way around Twitter, and in it stood a sharply dressed man in a dark colored suit standing next to coach Chuck Pagano.

Owner Jim Irsay was back in his familiar setting.

Ponder
Irsay
"[It] was a shot of adrenalin," Pagano said. "He brings so much to the table and to the organization. He is the organization. He is the 'shoe.' To have Jim back in the building and back in the room with us today was pretty darn special."

Irsay had been in a rehabilitation facility getting treatment since March 17 after he was arrested the day before for allegedly operating a vehicle while intoxicated. He faces four felony counts of possession of a controlled substance. A sign that Irsay was out of the treatment facility was when the Colts Chief Operating Officer Pete Ward said he would give the pitch to the NFL owners about Indianapolis hosting the Super Bowl in 2018 during the league meeting in Atlanta later this month. Irsay was also up to his old habit of tweeting again on Thursday.

Irsay wasn’t just sitting around watching during the draft. He quizzed general manager Ryan Grigson about potential players they might take with the No. 59 and 90 picks. He asked about alternative options if the players they were interested in weren’t available and potential trades.

Being a part of the day-to-day activities is where Irsay, a former general manager of the Colts, feels comfortable.

The Colts selected Ohio State offensive lineman Jack Mewhort in the second round and Mississippi receiver Donte Moncrief in the third round.

"It was great," Grigson said. "He brings great energy, football wisdom, all the years of experience. He knows how to push my buttons in terms of when we're making a pick, seeing if I'm really feeling it. Same with Chuck. He looks you in the eye and wants to know about the player, wants to be able to feel that passion when you're making that pick and know that you really want that guy.

"He has a great feel for that kind of thing. He can tell when he's talking with you who you like and who you just kind of like or maybe just fills a need. He wants to know the plan. He wants to know if he's not there, what we're going to do."

It’s uncertain how much longer Irsay will be around the team. Commissioner Roger Goodell said at the league’s owners meeting in Orlando, Florida, in March that Irsay is subject to league discipline for his arrest but that he would wait "to understand the facts" before making a decision.

His initial hearing in March was postponed.

"We obviously will want to understand the facts before we take any steps as it relates to any potential discipline," Goodell said in March. "Obviously any policies or any laws that are broken, whether you're commissioner or owner or player or coach, those are subject to discipline."

But for one night, things were back to normal at the Colts facility on the west side of Indianapolis.
INDIANAPOLIS – So you think it's difficult to figure out who the teams in the top five, 15 or 30 will select in next month's draft?

Imagine if the team doesn't have a first-round pick and doesn't select until late in the second round. That's the Indianapolis Colts, who have the No. 59 overall pick.

They can go in a number of different areas with their first pick.

Receiver. Reggie Wayne only has a few years left in what will end up being a Hall-of-Fame career.

Safety. Coach Chuck Pagano said that's a position they'll look in the draft.

Guard. That's a possibility, too.

Zach Allen, Khaled Holmes (guard/center), Lance Louis, Hugh Thornton and Donald Thomas are currently the guards on the roster. Restricted free agent Joe Reitz received a qualifying offer from the Colts last month.

ESPN's Mel Kiper said "there will probably be five second-round guys, maybe as many as six that go in Round 2, early Round 3."

"Kadeem Edwards at Tennessee State had an outstanding combine," Kiper said. "I thought he was good player. I tried to highlight one of the off-the-radar guys during the year, it was in October. There's going to be some depth at the guard spot behind the top guys."

Here are the top-10 guards on Kiper's draft board.
  1. Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State
  2. David Yankey, Stanford
  3. Xavier Su'a-Filo, UCLA
  4. Brandon Thomas, Clemson
  5. Joel Bitonio, Nevada
  6. Trai Turner, LSU
  7. Cyril Richardson, Baylor
  8. Jon Halapio, Florida
  9. Kadeem Edwards, Tennessee State
  10. Ryan Groy, Wisconsin

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